The Bicol Region, Bicolandia or Region 5 is one of the top tourist destinations in the Philippines. Situated at the south eastern part of Luzon this region will definitely surprise each visitor. I have been to all the six provinces ( Albay, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Sorsogon, Catanduanes and Masbate) included in this region except for Masbate. I can still recall the first time I set foot in Bicol, I was still in college aboard a chicken bus- it was one crazy escapade. Since then, I kept coming back. But I think the past visits barely scratch the surface. So here’s 10 Things I want to experience in Bicol:
1. Swim with the Whaleshark in Donsol, Sorsogon. I guess I have seen most of the underwater creatures one has to see in the Philippines (without using a scuba diving gear) in all my escapades except for one- Butanding or whalesharks. Its a sad fact that I haven’t experienced swimming with these gentle giants (add “L” on top of my head). So I’m promising myself to interact with one when I visit Sorsogon on March next year.
Photo credit: Traveler’s Compass
2. Ride the Bicol Express Train from Manila to Naga City. I always arrive in Bicol via the airplane even if this is can be traveled by land. So I’m thinking of experiencing Bicol on train journeys next time. I don’t mind the 10-11 hours of train ride as I’m sure this is an experience in itself- remember that the journey is the destination.
In case you are wondering what kind of train I will ride, no worries as the PNR trains we have now are new and faster and its back to business.
3. Trek Mt. Mayon, Albay. I have seen Mt. Mayon a couple of times but I want to get much closer. They said that some mountaineering groups trek this perfect-coned volcano during the summer and I want to join given the opportunity.
4. Swim in another Waterfalls. I was able to trek Mt. Isarog the first time I went to Bicol and we jump into Malabsay Falls. It was freakin’ cold but I loved it! So next time around, I wanna experience another falls. I’m thinking of Vera Falls, Botong Twin Falls or Busay in Albay.
5. See Lake Buhi, Camarines Sur. I’m fascinated with this Lake as it is one of the Lakes that has sinarapan. Sinarapan is the world’s smallest commercially-harvested fish. I was supposed to visit this last September on my way to Naga coming from Legazpi but I don’t have enough time. When I planned to go back, it was raining hard that I have to cancel the trip. Sad!
6. Taste Guisadong Sinarapan. The trip to Buhi Lake in Buhi, Camarines Sur would not be complete without trying the local fish sinarapan. Local friends are raving this; well, I think every local food in Bicol is soooo good. Now thinking of pinangat, Bicol express, laing and kinunot.
7. Wakeboard (again) at CWC. The closest thing I did was to try the Winch Park after almost an hour of knee-boarding. I was stoked and I love to try the “real” wakeboarding when I return. I’ll worry about the failed attempts when I get there. If you are in Naga City, CWC is just a 20-minute jeepney ride away.
8. Surf at Bagasbas, Daet, Camarines Norte. Coming from Calaguas, I and Clara just watched the waves from afar when we visited Bagasbas. We were too tired of the boat trip and all we can do was to eat. When I find my way back to Daet, I will definitely visit this place
9. Island hop around Caramoan group of islands. Who doesn’t want to experience Survivor Caramoan? Serbia, Israel, France, Bulgaria and Sweden shot their emprises here. I think its a fatal sin if me being a Pinoy would be the last to see the islands, lagoons and powdery white sand. Lahuy, Matukad, Sabitang Laya, Cotivas, wait for me. Let’s see what’s better- you or Calaguas.
10. Camp in one of the unexplored islands in Sorsogon. I have a standing invitation to explore an island in Sorsogon. So I guess its happening during my 100-day challenge in March. So excited!
When I think of Bicol, I think of scenic vistas, virgin beaches, rich heritage, delectable cuisine and friendly people. I can’t wait to be back!
How about you, have you been to Bicolandia? How many of these have you tried already?